SACRAMENTO, CA (KOVR/CNN) - A Brazilian family is headed home to start their new life, months after a medical scare that could have ended in tragedy.
On New Year's Eve, Vivian Santos had a stroke two days before she was supposed to give birth to her third child. She underwent an emergency C-section, followed by surgery to stop the bleeding in her brain.
Months later, everyone is healthy, happy and very grateful.
Little Stella is making things easy for her parents right now.
"Stella, she's amazing," said Herberton Santos, her father. "She goes to bed at 10 p.m. and wakes up 7 a.m., so she's a dream daughter."
The day she was born was far from easy. It started when Vivian told her husband she had a headache. Her husband called 911 after she passed out in bed.
Doctors at Sutter Davis determined Vivian had suffered a stroke.
They decided to perform an emergency C-section, delivering Stella before a medical helicopter took Vivian to Sutter Medical Center Sacramento.
"I could see her going to the helicopter in a very bad condition, so I was very scared," Herberton said.
Doctors leaped into action and were able to stop the bleeding in her brain, but it was a close call.
"I said as soon as she gets here, she goes right to the operating room," said neurosurgeon Dr. Rudolph Schrot.
The family is now doing great after Vivian's 3 1/2 months of recovery and rehabilitation.
Before heading home to Brazil, they wanted to thank the medical team.
They'll never forget the nurse who took care of Stella's two older brothers while Vivian recovered.
"She took the boys to her mother's house and I could stay with Stella," Herberton said.
The family says 2,000 people in Brazil were praying for Vivian's recovery and call it "a miracle."
"I'm a believer," Herberton said. "I believe in God, and I believe God sent you guys to take care of my family."